Social Justice Ireland says a major investment programme focused on social housing and broadband must be a key priority for the Government in the next budget.
In its “Framework for Budget 2017”, launched on Monday, the campaign group said the current level of public investment in social housing was insufficient to eliminate waiting lists.
It also called on the Government to frontload the rollout of the fibre infrastructure for broadband to every household and business in the State.
"Investment is needed to produce a well-functioning economy, to develop inclusive labour markets, to ensure adequate income support and to ensure access to high quality services for all," director Sean Healy said.
“For these reasons, budget 2017 should include details of a comprehensive investment plan to tackle Ireland’s infrastructure deficits in social housing and broadband. These two areas of economic and social infrastructure should take priority,” Dr Healy said.
The group’s policy analyst
said investment in social housing and broadband would yield significant returns in terms of both employment and productivity, and would also address two of the largest infrastructural deficits in Ireland today.
“If Ireland is to have strong long-term macroeconomic stability and a vibrant economy then a substantial increase in the level of public investment is required,” she added.
Revised forecasts contained in the new Government’s summer economic statement, due out on Tuesday, are expected to show the Government may have about €1 billion to deploy on spending and taxation changes in October’s budget.